I am referring this to the media as my next step, but I wanted to share it with other OPTUS users in case you encounter a similar situation.
My brother-in-law died in early March 2018. Three days before his death we settled his final phone bill with Optus. A week after his death I contacted Optus, was put through to the 'Bereavement Care Team', provided some details and was assured his account was now closed and there would be no further bill or correspondence.
THIS is what happened next:
THREE MONTHS after his death, my mother-in-law received a letter from Optus addressed to the “Estate of the late Xxxxx Xxxxxx” demanding payment of an overdue amount of $26 and threatening suspension of the account. Needless to say she was extremely distressed, and so was I.
Not only was I previously told the account was closed and there was nothing outstanding, it also takes an incredible amount of callousness to send a payment demand to the grieving family so long after the death.
So I attempted to call Optus again. The telephone menu is something else. It took a solid 20 minutes of redirection and button pushing until the menu finally ran out of options to try and prevent me from speaking to someone, and I was connected to a team member, who immediately stated he couldn’t help me (so why is he answering the phone?!?) and connected me once again to a member of the 'Bereavement Care Team'.
The operator found himself unable to understand that my brother-in-law had passed without a will, there was no estate, and no-one left to pay an outstanding bill I had previously been assured did not exist, and kept referring me to a form for deceased estates which did not apply to our circumstances.
After a fruitless half hour discussion I therefore put the whole thing in writing. I got the following response on 4 June 2018:
My sincerest apologies for the below and what you have endured during this time.
I have sent the account to our billing team to have the $26 waived, we most certainly don’t require you to pay this.
There will be no more Optus communication sent moving forward.
All the best.
Today, another THREE weeks later, we received the following letter in the mail, dated 18 June 2018:
FINAL NOTICE BEFORE DISCONNECTION - AMOUNT OVERDUE $26
HELLO ESTATE OF XXXX XXXXXX - followed by threats of disconnection, debt collection and some other wonderful things.
So in summary, dear Optus customers, best cancel your services with the company at least a year or two before you intend to die or they will never leave your grieving family in peace.
Hi Stephan, I can see we have received your enquiry via another social media platform and are assisting there so I will go ahead and close this thread on YesCrowd to avoid double handling.
Hi. No, unfortunately not - neither here nor elsewhere. Whilst I did receive another emailed apology from Matt at the Bereavement Care team, I still have not received any confirmation whether the bill has finally been withdrawn and the account finally closed. For all I know, all we need to do is wait for the inevitable next harassment in a few weeks...
Ah, I'm sorry to hear that there's still so much uncertainty as to whether this has all been resolved.
Can you send us a private message with your details? I'll need your full name, DOB and the account number.
Hopefully I can offer you a bit of peace of mind.